Sunday, November 15, 2009

Crochet, Made by Hand

I learned to crochet when I was six years old. My mother would visit a friend of hers and she had a mother or grandmother who lived with her. I just remember her as a 'very old woman' but then I was just six years old. At any rate while my mother and her friend talked I sat by the grandmother and watched her crochet. It was amazing what she could do with a needle and thread. I was so intent that one day she asked me if I wanted to learn to crochet. Of course I said yes. That day I went home with a ball of thread and a crochet needle. I knew how to do the chain stitch and I made chains and then reversed and made loops....over and over. She taught me some other stitches but I never really made a keepable object. Still I could spend a hot summer afternoon just crocheting.

It use to be, or as some would say, back in the old days, that anytime you put an object on a table you put a crochet doily under it so it didn't scratch the top. Just about every table top had some crochet piece on it. You don't see that anymore so I wonder who buys these beautiful handmade doilys that the women sell on the streets of San Miguel de Allende.

This image was made at night on the porticos around the jardin.

8 comments:

glorv1 said...

I love doiles and I have a few around my house. I wish I could crochet but my fingers start locking up. Good for you. Keep up the tradition. Take care.

DanaJ said...

Seems like there was always one over each arm of the La-Z-boy.
Bygones.....(that looks like a spanish word!)

Wouldn't it be great if the SMA ladies channeled their crochet talent and dexterity to something "hot" right now....say, Art Quilts.
Like those ladies from Gee's Bend, whose work gets museum attention.
There might be more money in an updated product.

Oh,Billie...you only gave us a taste of your DayoftheDead 2009 photos, but there's some meaty, delicious shots in your Flickr set.
Really enjoyed the selection today.

Bob Mrotek said...

Hmmmm...very interesting. Like DanaJ said my grandmother always had her crocheted doilies attached to the arms of the sofa and armchairs with straight pins. They were called "antimacassars" after a hair oil that men used on their hair and were used to keep people's hands from soiling the furniture. I haven't seen them in years and years. They came out of the Victorian era and as I recall were still being used on the armrests of railroad passenger cars in the 1950's. Thanks for the memeory :)

Anonymous said...

Quilt tops! Applique them to a block then quilt around them, same as ladies hankies. I've also seen them starched stiff and used as backgrounds for floral wall-hangings. Judy

Jenny said...

These are beautiful! Lucky you to have them. I too learnt to crochet when I was very young. I have cupboards & drawers full of these doilies that have been made by me, my Mother & my Grandmother & I use them in my house under things to protect the furniture. Use them, enjoy them & appreciate the many hours of work that it has taken to create them.

Islagringo said...

Imagine the afternoon you, Nancy and I could have, hooks in hand! It boggles the mind! LOL!

Nancy said...

Billie, I used to collect these and always marveled at the tiny stitches and amount of time they must take to make. But back then I had a 1907 Craftsman and it seemed like they went together. I have trouble visualizing these in a Mexican household!

And Wayne, I only know how to crochet borders on knitted things but if you two get together to crochet I will learn and I'll be there!

Donna said...

Actually I have been in a lot of working class Mexican homes where these are still used, just like they would have been in my grandmother's house. They protect the furniture, which probably represents a major investment for the family.

Very nice photo, Billie

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